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CLINTON | The operator of a nuclear power plant in central Illinois says the site is running out of space to put its spent fuel and will break ground by early next year for an aboveground storage facility.

Chicago-based Exelon Corp. runs the Clinton Power Station northeast of Springfield. The company says the new storage site would provide adequate space for spent fuel through its licensed operating life of 2026.

A spokesman at the Clinton station told the State Journal-Register of Springfield that storage capacity at the current rate would be reached by the end of 2016.

Chicago-based Exelon is among the world’s biggest operators of nuclear plants, with 10 power plants and 17 reactors in Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Illinois has six of the power plants and 11 reactors.


Report: Transocean contributed to Gulf blast

NEW ORLEANS | Flaws in Transocean Ltd.’s emergency training and equipment and a poor safety culture contributed to the deadly Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion that led to the Gulf oil spill, according to a Coast Guard report released Friday.

The report centered on Transocean’s role in the disaster because it owned the rig and was primarily responsible for ensuring its safety, the Coast Guard said. BP PLC owned the well that blew out.

The Coast Guard report also concluded that decisions made by workers aboard the rig “may have affected the explosions or their impact,” such as failing to follow procedures for notifying other crew members about the emergency after the blast.

The report doesn’t explore the root causes of the well blowout, which triggered the explosions that killed 11 workers and sent millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. But the Coast Guard said numerous actions by Transocean and the rig’s crew affected their ability to prevent or limit the disaster.

Electrical equipment that may have ignited the explosion was poorly maintained, while gas alarms and automatic shutdown systems were bypassed so that they did not alert the crew, the report said. And rig workers didn’t receive adequate training on how and when to disconnect the rig from the well to avoid an explosion, it said.


Request to replace labor mural nixed

BANGOR | A federal judge has denied a request to order the state of Maine to return a mural to the Department of Labor office from which it was removed last month.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock ruled Friday that the mural represents government speech because the state commissioned, approved, paid for and owned it. The judge said government speech may say what it wishes, regardless of viewpoint.

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